Sunday, March 1, 2009

Introducting.....Andrew





















So our third son was due to arrive. We had spent the summer exchanging phone calls and emails and letters with his birth family, and even managed another visit with them, this time with Alex and Austin along for the fun. What a fun time that was. I think Alex developed a crush on Andrew's birth mother, and she just adored both of them. Alex was really puzzed by how his baby brother Andrew managed to get inside her tummy....he didn't understand why he couldn't actually see baby Andrew and one time just reached up and pulled down the zipper on her zippered jacket, as if baby Andrew would just now pop out from inside her jacket.

Baby Andrew's birth mother had placenta previa and was scheduled for a C-section. He would be arriving about 3 weeks early. So we made our plans to be there for his arrival, and took Aunt Chris along to help us out with the other two boys while we would be at the hospital.

So the big day arrived. The C-section was scheduled for 12 noon, so we got to the hospital around 9:00 AM that morning, to spend time with the family beforehand. His birth mother wanted me in the OR with her, but hospital rules allowed only 1 family member in with the patient, and she really wanted her mom with her, which was completely understandable. They came and got her around 12:30, and after hugs and kisses and tears, I left her with her mom and the hospital staff, and went to find Pete and Alex for the long wait.

Turned out: not too long of a wait. Andrew was born at 1:00 PM. And by 1:30, I met my third son for the first time. Gorgeous, beautiful, precious...words never can describe the beauty of a new life. And quiet. Not like Alex had been at all...screaming from the moment he could draw a breath. I spent about half an hour with Andrew and his birth mother, and then had to leave the room so they could transfer baby and birth mother to a regular hospital room from the OR recovery room.

I left the room and went looking for Pete and Alex again, who had gone looking for Aunt Chris and Austin. I saw them before they saw me, and I was struck by the look of excitement and anticipation on Alex's face when I heard his daddy say to him, "Let's go see your new brother!" That moment...that look on Alex's face was as precious to me as anything else in Andrew's birth story. As soon as everyone got settled in the hospital room, we took Alex in to see baby Andrew. He kept saying, "Alex see him!" "Where And-woo?" "Go get him!" Alex was running, full steam ahead, racing down the hall, and absolutely yelling, "time to see And-woo!" "Go now!" "See him!" He was so excited, he was squirming. We were afraid to have him walk in the room, afraid he would run and trip over something. So Pete carried him in, he said hi to our birth mother and then looked into the bassinet where Andrew lay sleeping and said, "Hi, And-woo, time to rise and shine!" "Wake up!" Pete and I cried. It was the sweetest voice, his little hand waving to his new baby brother, looking at him so closely. Then began the questions: "What dat?" (The cap on his head). "What on his eyes?" (The drops they put in newborns). "What he doin'?" "Where his toes?" "Him tiny." When Andrew began to cry a little, Alex asked, with a worried look on his face: "And-woo have bad dreams?"

When Andrew settled back down to sleep, we settled in with our birth mother. She asked Alex what he's going to teach little Andrew and Alex told her, "play toys. Play big rigs, play front end loader." Everyone laughed, Pete and I still cried. We visited for a while and then Alex began to get rowdy. So Pete took Alex back to the hotel, but he had to say bye-bye to his new baby brother. So we held him up so he could see him again, and he said (with some prompting from us, of course): "Hi, And-woo, my Alex (meaning: I'm Alex): my you big brudder. I love l00000, I take care of you". (More tears here from Jamaica and Pete). Then, all on his own, he says: "Night, night, buddy. Have good dreams 'bout dirt!" OK, now the floodgates are open and the tears are really pouring. I just can't believe how precious this all is. He picked up the "buddy" from us, which is what we say when putting any of them to bed: "night, night buddy." The sweet dreams about dirt part comes from one of Alex's favorite videos, Dirt Monsters, where at the end of the video the trucks are all going home for the night, it says, "good night, Dirt Monsters, have good dreams about dirt!" Alex says this every night to Austin, too.

Our time out of town for Andrew's birth was not without it's funny moments, too. One morning I was showering and Alex came in the bathroom. He jerked open the shower curtain and startled me. He looked at me and said, "Mommy, what you doin'?" "I'm taking a shower, Alex." Then: "Mommy, that's you body." Me: "Yes, this is my body." Alex: "Mommy have boo-boo, went to doctor." (I had a band-aid on my shoulder where the dermatologist took a small skin biopsy from a funny looking freckle: no cancer). Me: "Yes, I went to doctor, but Mommy is all better now." Now for the Kodak moment: Alex: "Mommy, where's you penis?" Me: laugh so hard water gets in my mouth and I choke. "What?" Alex: "Where's you penis, Mommy? Where is it, Mommy?" Me: "uh, uh, uh, I don't have one. Alex: "how come, mommy?" Me: "Go ask your daddy". Alex continues to stare for a few seconds, and sees the water running down over me, over and off of my legs while I'm showering and then asks: "Mommy, why you peeing in shower?" (Maybe next time I need to remember to lock the bathroom door!)

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend. We got to meet a lot of our birth mother's family and friends and get to know them all. Everyone adores Alex and Austin. Another funny moment was when one of the birth father's buddies came in to visit and our birth mother had Austin on her lap. This guy thought Austin was the baby our birth mother had just given birth to, and he absolutely freaked out at how big he was (Austin weighed 19 pounds at the time). He kept commenting on how big he was and how much hair he has (Austin had a mini-mokawk hairstyle at the time) and that he already had teeth. That's when we figured out his mistake. Babies aren't born with teeth! He was just assuming since Austin's black and the new baby is mixed, that Austin was Andrew!

The whole weekend at the hospital, Alex could not be in the room with Andrew without wanting to hold him. Constantly: "Alex hold And-woo on lap!" "Me feed him!" "Fingers 'way!" (when we would help Alex hold him). He kept wanting to check on his toes and finally, after his 5th or 6th time looking at his toes, I asked him, "Alex, do you have an obsession with toes?" Alex looked up at me, smiled sweetly and said simply: "I like feet!"

Pete did something very sneaky, but also very sweet that weekend. We hated that thought of our birth mother leaving the hospital empty handed, so we had planned ahead and brought flowers and food (my mom's homemade sour dough bread) for everyone to share. And we had given gift cards to the birth parents for them to shop with (a music store gift card for the birth father, and a clothing store gift card for the birth mother). But sneaky Pete went to the mall during one of our trips from the hospital back to our hotel, and went to a jewelry store and got a beautiful diamond angel pendent necklace for Andrew to "give" his birth mother...so she'll always know what an true angel she is to all of us. Everyone in that room cried...me, Pete, birth mother, grandmother, Aunt Chris, our attorney...we were all just weeping, wet messes by now, but they were also tears of happiness, because this wasn't an ending, just a new beginning.

I look back on that long Labor Day weekend of 2007, and even apart from the miracle and blessing that Andrew's birth was, just the whole time spent with his birth family was a miracle by itself. We truly love that whole family...his birth mother is like the little sister I never had, and her mom is a true friend, and her stepdad is one of the greatest people you could want to meet. It felt like a family reunion, in more ways than one. Having Andrew alone is one great blessing, but our family grew by more than just one person that weekend....we are ALL now, one great big happy family!


2 comments:

Karen L. said...

You made me cry when I read it!! What a blessing you are to all of us. I have been so busy lately it seems all I can do to get on the computer, but reading this was nice...thanks

mom2twoboyz said...

Very cute kids and pics!! thanks for all of your comments on my page!